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The death of Nabucco – But can the Tap help Ukraine?

June 28, 2013

The EU’s long standing energy white elephant, the gas pipeline called Nabucco that was supposed to route gas directly from the Caspian Sea to the EU avoiding Russia looks finally to be put to the sword at some time today by Azerbaijan.

It seems an alternative pipeline named Tap will get the nod to supply gas to the EU avoiding Russia instead – with a 10 bcm annual capacity.

Naturally Nabucco, Tap or the Russian South Stream pipeline all avoid Ukraine so it is a matter of which does less damage – or alternatively, given the recent Ukrainian importation of Russian gas via the EU at far cheaper prices than those agreed by Tymoshenko that come direct from Russia, the question to be asked is will/can Tap further de-leverage Ukraine from Russian gas dependency.

Can and will Azerbaijani gas be pumped into Ukraine via the EU via the Tap pipeline that is to be given the nod by the Azerbaijani government some time today?

The route for the Tap pipeline is from Azerbaijan. through Turkey and Greece under the Adriatic Sea and arrive in the EU via Italy – a far distance from Ukraine if there is an interest from Ukraine to have Caspian Sea gas pumped into the nation.

Tap

The losing Nabucco pipeline would have run via Turkey into Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and end in Austria – with obvious existing Soviet gas infrastructure between Ukraine and the other ex-Communist States that would have meant pumping  Azerbaijani gas into Ukraine a fairly simple matter.

Can Ukraine tap the Caspian Tap – at a cost cheaper than Russian gas?  That is the question.

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2 comments

  1. What about the gas near Cyprus ?


    • Maybe to far over the horizon to consider just yet. Who knows how that will play out given the Greek/Turkish issue surrounding the island and its gas.



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